Baby Maintenance

Parents, remember this: Boots

Boots is a “chemist”, or actually a chain of what we'd in the U.S. call a drug store. They have stores everywhere throughout the UK, and can sell you paper diapers (“nappies”), cough medicine, baby food in jars, pacifiers (called “dummies” in the UK), bottles and way-cool bibs with a plastic scoop bottom that catches missed-target foods up to and including whole lobsters. Things are marked in kilograms, not pounds. One kilogram=2.2 pounds.

(While on the subject of different names for baby things, what in the U.S. would be called a crib or baby bed is called a “cot”, a useful word to know when phoning up a bed and breakfast to see if they can accommodate you and your kids.)

Prices are similar to other stores in the UK, though generally slightly higher than what you'd pay in the U.S. outside of metro New York. Our kids still rave about the taste (grape) of Boots' own child rehydration solution, for use after a nasty run of diarrhea.

Another chemist located all over the place is Superdrug. One parent wrote in to say that Superdrug is usually cheaper than Boots while stocking most of the same stuff, so check it out as well when you run out of diapers in the rain while late for the theatre after the babysitter canceled because the Tube workers were on strike and it is Sunday.

Speaking of all that, the bad news is that retail stores in the UK can close early and often quite often: shopping after dinner in smaller towns is a dicey proposition though the shops are generally open on Sundays nowadays. Most city stores also have later hours than then a few years ago. Retail stores are usually located on the local “high street”, a shopping street so named in most towns and villages.

Though it is not specifically travel-related, Familyrapp is a site intended for Moms and Dads living in the UK, and thus may be of interest even to a traveler. Parent's News is another good UK parents' site. The Family Friendly website will ensure that Greater Manchester families are never at a loose end.

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